City Issues 2016 Mardi Gras Updates, Reminders

NEW ORLEANS —The City of New Orleans issued updates and reminders of parking instructions, traffic restrictions and safety regulations in advance of the 2016 Mardi Gras parades scheduled to from Wednesday, February 3 through Tuesday, February 9, 2016.

         Following the six-alarm fire in the 1000 block of Canal Street last last Wednesday, January 27, the City completed an assessment of the structure and determined that the buildings' façade is stable and there is no imminent danger of collapse at this time. Out of an abundance of caution, an 8-foot high fence was erected around the front of the buildings directly impacted by the fire.

         In an effort to ensure public safety and allow full pedestrian access along parade routes, minor adjustments were made to the Krewes of Endymion and Zulu parades. On Canal Street at Basin Street, Endymion will cross over from the riverbound lanes to the lakebound lanes of Canal Street, proceed toward St. Charles Avenue and continue along its normal route. On St. Charles Avenue at Canal Street, Zulu will turn left onto the lakebound lanes of Canal Street, proceed toward Basin Street and continue along its normal route.

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         See maps of the parades throughout the weekend here

         In addition to the normal street closures along the parade routes, the formation area of the Endymion parade will be closed on both sides of City Park Avenue from Marconi Drive to Zachary Taylor Drive and on the park side of City Park Avenue from Anseman Street to Marconi Street/ Orleans Avenue on Saturday, February 6, from 9:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. The neutral grounds in the formation area will also be closed to the public.

         To keep the residents and visitors fully informed this Mardi Gras season, the City launched a Mardi Gras Information and Updates website. The City compiled information regarding safety regulations, enforcement policies, permitting information and helpful suggestions, including interactive parade maps, in one location so that residents and visitors can be better prepared before heading out to the parades.

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         The New Orleans Police Department will have officers staffed at 100% capacity throughout the city during the 2016 Mardi Gras season. They will be complemented by 170 officers from the Louisiana State Police as well as officers from other public safety agencies. The New Orleans Fire Department and New Orleans Emergency Medical Services will also have all hands on deck and be ready to respond in the event of an emergency.

         Along parade routes, the New Orleans Health Department will be manning First Aid Stations at the following locations:

• Orleans Avenue and N. Hennessey Street on Saturday, February 6

• St. Charles Avenue and Napoleon Avenue on Friday, February 5 through Sunday, Feb 7; and Tuesday, Feb 9

• St. Charles Avenue and Felicity Street on Friday, February 5 through Sunday, Feb 7; and Tuesday, Feb 9

• Canal Street and Carondelet Street on Friday, February 5 through Sunday, Feb 7; and Tuesday, Feb 9


         The New Orleans Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness will be monitoring all parade activity and coordinating with the National Weather Service and the United States Coast Guard helicopter that will be providing overhead coverage for all parades.



         The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers demobilized its construction and fenced in the neutral ground along Napoleon and Jefferson Avenues. There will be limited access to the neutral ground for parade viewing along Napoleon Avenue between S. Claiborne Avenue and Laurel Street.

         Along Napoleon Avenue, one river bound lane and both lake bound lanes will be open at a minimum between St. Charles Avenue and South Claiborne Avenue. Napoleon Avenue neutral ground cross-overs will be closed at S. Liberty Street, Carondelet Street, Pitt Street, Coliseum Street, Chestnut Street, Camp Street, and Constance Street.



         Streetcar service will be provided along the entire St. Charles Avenue route through Mardi Gras day. On scheduled parade days, St. Charles Avenue Streetcar service will be replaced with buses from Canal Street to Napoleon Avenue beginning approximately two hours prior to parade start time to allow access to neutral grounds by parade goers. Rider alerts detailing route detours on parade days are available here.



         The City will provide over 650 portable toilets for public use. On Jan. 28, 2016, the Department of Property Management began placing portable toilets along parade routes.

         See map of portable toilet locations here.




         In addition to permanent ‘No Parking’ signs posted along parade routes, the City will install approximately 2,500 temporary signs. Drivers are encouraged to pay close attention when parking to avoid being ticketed or towed.

         Two hours prior to the scheduled start of each Mardi Gras parade, any unauthorized vehicle on any part of the published parade route will be ticketed and towed.

         Parking is prohibited on either side of the following streets two hours before and after parades:

• Tchoupitoulas Street between Jackson and Nashville Avenues;

• Napoleon Avenue between Tchoupitoulas Street and S. Claiborne Avenue; and

• St. Charles Avenue between Napoleon Avenue and Canal Street.


         This will ensure public safety and facilitate the flow of the Carnival Krewes (violations result in a $75 fine and seizure).

         Two hours after a Mardi Gras parade ends, any unauthorized vehicle on any part of the published parade route will be ticketed and towed. This is done to clear the route for the City’s Department of Sanitation (violations result in a $75 fine and seizure).

         Beginning the Friday before Mardi Gras, February 5, at 6:00 p.m. until the Wednesday after Mardi Gras, February 10, at 6:00 a.m., no on-street parking is allowed and no vehicular traffic except those with issued permits are allowed into the French Quarter between Iberville Street, N. Rampart Street, Dumaine Street and Decatur Street ($50 fine and seizure).

         Parking of recreational vehicles, campers and oversized vehicles is prohibited in residential areas. It is strictly enforced during the Mardi Gras season particularly in the Central Business District, Warehouse District and Garden District.

         Before, during and after the parades, the City will extend enforcement efforts into the neighborhoods adjacent to the published parade routes. This will minimize non-residential intrusion. Parking officers will primarily enforce the following safety violations:

• Blocking a fire hydrant ($40 fine)

• Parking in a fire lane ($40 fine)

• Parking within 15 feet of a fire hydrant on either side ($40 fine)

• Parking within 20 feet of a crosswalk, intersection, or stop sign ($40 fine)

• Parking on a sidewalk ($40 fine)

• Parking on a traveled portion of the roadway ($40 fine)

• Parking within 3 feet of a driveway on either side ($40 fine)

• Parking on the neutral ground and subject to seizure ($75 fine)

• Parking adjacent to the neutral ground ($40 fine)

• Parking in freight/loading zone ($40 fine)

• Parking in a handicapped zone without proper permit displayed ($500 fine)

• Parking at an expired meter ($40 fine)

• Parking in a Residential Permit Parking zone without a permit displayed ($40 fine)

• Parking in the wrong direction (vehicles must park in the direction of travel on one way streets, and with the right wheel to the curb on two way streets) ($40 fine)

• Vehicles that have unpaid parking tickets will be booted and/or towed.


         Additionally, parking enforcement, towing staff and auto impound offices will work the following extended hours during the 2016 Mardi Gras season:

• Now through February 4, from 7:00 a.m. until 1:00 a.m.

• February 5 through February 7, from 7:00 a.m. until 3:00 a.m.

• February 8, from 7:00 a.m. until 1:00 a.m.

• February 9, from 5:00 a.m. until 1:00 a.m.


         For more information on parking enforcement, citizens may call:

• Department of Public Works (Parking enforcement and information), (504) 658-8100 (answered 24 hours)           

• Information related to Residential Parking Permits, (504) 658-8200

• Pay and release of boot, (504) 658-8083 or 1-877-314-3767

• Information on Ticket/Tow Appeals Hearings: (504) 658-8250



         The city’s neutral grounds are the direct responsibility of the Department of Parks and Parkways; therefore, any prohibited items that are placed on the neutral grounds will be removed and disposed of immediately.

         The following rules are being enforced:

• All ladders used by parade spectators shall be structurally sound. No ladder, chairs, ice chests, chaise lounges, barbecue grills and other similar personal effects shall be placed in intersections or between curbs of public streets during a parade.

• Ladders, tents, grills and other personal effects shall be placed six feet back from the street curb.

• Fastening two or more ladders together is prohibited.

• Roping off areas of the neutral ground, public sidewalks, or other public property is prohibited.

• Portable toilets are allowed on private property. A permit is required for those who charge a fee for usage of private portable toilets. Private portable toilets will not be allowed on neutral grounds, public sidewalks, or other public property without written consent from the appropriate governmental agency. A fine of $250 per day will be assessed against the owner of the portable toilet.

• No structures can be erected (i.e. viewing stands, bleachers) without a permit. The only structures allowed are those that are provided by the City Of New Orleans in city designated areas or those on privately owned properties that have been granted permission and issued permits by the City’s Department of Safety and Permits.



• No bulky furniture can be placed on neutral grounds.

• Please stand behind the barricades when they are placed along streets while the parade is passing.

• Please do not run between floats or vehicles while the parade is in progress.

• Ladders should not be placed in the street or be tied together and should be placed back six feet from the curb.

• Parade viewers may not throw any object at any participant in a carnival parade. Violation of this provision includes a $250 fine per violation.

• Please do not stand or walk close to heavy equipment used in the clean-up process.

• Items such as sofas and tents should not be placed on neutral grounds.

• The juvenile curfew will be enforced during Mardi Gras. City curfew hours for juveniles are Sunday thru Thursday 8;00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. and Friday thru Saturday 11:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. In the French Quarter, the hours are Friday thru Saturday 8:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.



         The Department of Sanitation is responsible for cleaning the streets, neutral grounds and sidewalks after parades held on both sides of the Mississippi River in the City of New Orleans.

Up to 600 City workers, temporary workers, and contractor employees may be utilized each day in clean-up efforts.

         The success of Mardi Gras depends on the City returning the streets to normalcy and cleanliness as soon as possible after each parade. Therefore, cooperation from the public on parking, litter abatement and neutral ground restrictions is vital. Vehicular traffic will be restricted until clean-up crews have passed.





         City of New Orleans Bureau of Revenue field agents and collectors will be canvassing neighborhoods in and around parade routes to ensure businesses (including ABOs) and vendors are properly permitted. Additionally, residents or businesses charging for parking at commercial properties must be properly permitted. 501c3 organizations may apply for an exemption for a portion of the fees associated with the appropriate permits.

         The sale of silly string, snap pops, and stink bombs is prohibited. Bureau of Revenue field agents and collectors will confiscate any snap pops found on mobile vendors.


Food Trucks Inspection

         Unless a Food Truck Permit holder also obtained a Mardi Gras Fixed Location Vendor permit, no food trucks are allowed within two blocks of a parade route, from two hours before the parade starts until two hours after the parade has passed any part of the route.


Mardi Gras Event and Vending Permits


         Visit the city’s One-Stop Shop for information on:


• Concession Stands

• Bracing

• Reviewing Stands

• Temporary Parking Lot Permits

• Portable Toilet Permits

• Vendor Permits (including Walkers and Fixed Location Vendors)


         View the 2016 Mardi Gras Vending Guide here.

         View the 2016 Mardi Gras Procedures here.



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